New Zealand legend Benji Marshall has retired from rugby league following an illustrious 19-year playing career.
The 36-year-old has made 346 NRL appearances for Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Benji Marshall, who won the NRL Premiership with the Tigers in 2005, won 31 caps for his native New Zealand and helped the Kiwis win the World Cup in 2008.
Achieving his dreams
He said: “I feel privileged and grateful to have had the career that I have had.
“I started as just a young kid from Whakatane who was chasing his dreams and will leave as a better man who reached those dreams. I cannot thank Rugby League enough for everything it has given me.
“I’m extremely proud of my career. I’m proud of the longevity of playing 19 seasons, proud of winning a premiership, proud to represent my country and to win a World Cup, and I’m proud of winning a Golden Boot too.
“But the thing of which I’m most proud is the countless times I have had to pick myself up and fight back from the many setbacks that were thrown at me throughout my career.
“I want to thank the Wests Tigers, the St George Illawarra Dragons, the Brisbane Broncos and, of course, the South Sydney Rabbitohs for the opportunity to play for those great clubs. Special mention goes to the Tigers where I am a Life Member and it’s a club that has always been a big part of my life.
“Thank you to South Sydney for allowing me this opportunity to finish my career this way on a high and to go out on my terms.
“I’ve got no doubts that I could have played on again next year, but now is the right time for me to call time on my football career and move on to the next adventure. Now it’s time for me to put my family first.”